Some industry leaders expressed disappointment this week over the latest coronavirus relief package introduced Monday by Senate Republicans.
LeadingAge provided a snapshot Wednesday of the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act, noting that the proposed legislation lacks a dedicated fund for aging services providers, testing funds and a national testing strategy, personal protective equipment solutions, help for older adults in affordable housing, and staffing provisions.
Yet other experts point to some of the benefits the bill could provide for the overall seniors housing industry, particularly from a business perspective. The nearly five years of liability protection included in the bill’s SAFE TO WORK Act will be a huge shield for the senior living and care operators, Julio P. Gonzalez, CEO of Engineered Tax Services told McKnight’s Senior Living. In addition, for the industry’s real estate investment trusts, several provisions in the new bill create job recovery and economic recovery, which could positively affect the markets and, ultimately, the stock value of REITs. And the direct payments to individuals will allow more people to pay rent and monthly facility fees which is helpful to these operators, Gonzalez said.
He also noted that many business provisions, including the new employee retention tax credit, will help operators bring workers back. The HEALS Act also provides operators with more flexibility in terms of how Paycheck Protection Program funds can be used. Among other measures, companies will now be eligible for loan forgiveness if they use funds to provide added protection for workers.
“Overall, the HEALS Act could be a big help for this industry financially,” Gonzalez said.